South London Day Limmud 2008

Bilhah's Prayer - Listening to Silenced Voices

Larry Becker

Bilhah, handmaid of Laban and Rachel, surrogate wife of Jacob, mother of Dan and Naphtali, played an important role in relation to Jewish Law and genealogy. Yet she says nothing in Torah and even her encounter with Reuben is not translated. We will use the poem Bilhah's Prayer to launch a discussion of how this silence was used by later Jewish writings to give voice to their contemporary concerns.


Jewish Agnostic Prayer

Tony Hammond

This session delves into the fascinating question of what prayer is and what function it fulfills in our lives.


The Problem with Pinchas

Clive Lawton

Pinchas takes the law into his own hands and is rewarded with a fast track promotion through the priesthood. But isn't one of the basic laws of human morality - one of the 7 laws to the Sons of Noah - not to take the law into our own hands, but follow a proper legal system? And if you think this is just a technicality, remember that Rabin's assassin found his inspiration in the story of Pinchas. So what exactly did Pinchas do and how exactly was he rewarded? We'll explore not just Pinchas but priesthood too.